This was hard to write today because I had to admit that I was wrong about how I interpreted one of the parables in Matthew. It is always hard to admit when I do something wrong because I am under the impression that I am perfect and being wrong leaves me embarrassed and feeling dumb. The good news is that I can fall back on all that time we spent in Proverbs, learning that correction leads to wisdom, to get over my embarrassment.
In the section for today we finish reading about the instructions for the burnt, grain, sin, guilt, and the ordination and peace offerings. These instructions, when followed would allow the Israelites to enjoy the presences of the Lord. They had a way to atone for their sin. But lets remember, they are still sinners. They still had to choose to follow these instructions.
The next section is summed up by 8:34—Everything we have done today was commanded by the Lord in order to purify you (Aaron and the other priests) making you right with him. I especially love the next part. After the ordination ceremony we read that the whole nation of Israel came together and worshiped the Lord just as He told them to. Following the Lords commands are all they have to do so that His Glory will appear to them.
Mark 3: 31—4:25
Yesterday Jesus’ family is concerned that He is out of his mind. Today we pick up with them requesting to see Him. Jesus is not putting an end to all family ties here but He is saying that a relationship with Him is more important than family ties. This goes against what the Pharisee’s taught. To them being able to trace their lineage back to Abraham was more important than the Messiah standing before them.
And again, in the most brilliant stroke Jesus teaches in Parables. He takes natural rules of the world and uses them to teach us spiritual truth. The brilliance of that goes even further because only the people who are willing to really put their faith in Jesus will be able to understand these parables.
The parable of the farmer and seeds is talking about people who hear what Jesus is saying about the kingdom of God. Some only accept it in the moment, some it goes a little deeper, and some hold on to it until trouble comes. Only the ones who allow it to really sink in and accept it deeply will have the life He promises. This is talking about belief in God vs. hardhearted disbelief. We know this because of the context of the Isaiah verses and because Jesus refers to outsiders. Outsiders are how he refers to unbelievers, and they won’t understand the parable. On the flip side, believers are permitted to understand the secret of Jesus. And that secret is so good that you wouldn’t hide it, you would tell people about it.
Confession time. I went back and read what I wrote about this same parable recorded in Matthew. I came dangerously close to misinterpreting it because I was not looking at the deeper context. The deeper context is Jesus talking about believing in God vs. being a hardhearted unbeliever like the Israelites during Isaiah’s time. The low lying interpretation of this verse is that your understanding God’s word makes you thrive (that is what I said in Matthew). That is dangerous because these verses are not talking specifically about believers. If you look at it as if it is referring to believers you might think that a believer could loose their salvation, which is not true. That is why understanding, and adhering to the context of the passage is so important. Thank you Lord for always teaching me.
Psalm 37: 12-29
Well, I do not want to be wicked. You become an enemy of God when you act that way. He turns against you. But whey you are seeking godliness He is your protection.
This proverb tells us that you have to be prepared and harvest when the time is right. Sleep (laziness) will rob you of being prepared.